HealthMental Health

Stop Using Mental Illnesses To Describe Your Temporary Mood

You’ve undoubtedly heard it before, whether it was in-person from someone you knew or online from a stranger, you’ve been on the receiving end of someone using a long-term diagnosis to describe their short-term emotion.

I’m so depressed.

This is giving me anxiety.

I want to kill myself.

Three common and somewhat normalized phrases bred from the seriousness of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. As our attention span continues to diminish aside the mental deterioration that comes from too much time on our devices—communicating is becoming more difficult for humans to effectively express. As disingenuous as the motivation behind most social media posts, the response has started to reflect that.

It’s hard enough for people to confide that they’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression, suffering from an anxiety disorder, or having suicidal thoughts. It’s even more difficult for people dealing with these conditions, actively battling the symptoms.

We don’t need people confusing their disappointment for depression.

We don’t need people confusing natural nerves with anxiety disorders.

We don’t need people confusing avoidance with thoughts of suicide.

We need to keep them separate because they are separate.

We must stop continuing to diminish the severity of mental illness to gain the growing need of attention we are all so desperately looking for as we compare, contrast, and confuse feelings for disorders.

We have to think before we speak and make sure we’re fully using the parts of our brain that help accurately express our emotions.

If you’re sad, instead of saying I’m depressed, here are a few alternatives:

I’m disappointed in…

I’m upset about…

I feel hurt that…

I’m feeling betrayed by… 

I wasn’t expecting this because…

I’m not feeling well…

I need some time to myself…

I wish things were different because…

This is not what I wanted because I wanted…

If you’re nervous, instead of saying I’m having anxiety, here are a few alternatives:

I’m stressed out about…

I’m concerned about the outcome of…

I’m feeling tense because…

I’m afraid that…

I’m agitated about…

I’m uneasy because…

I’m worried about the…

If you don’t want to do something, instead of saying I’m going to kill myself, here are a few alternatives:

That’s the last thing I’d want to do today because…

I’d rather not do that because…

I wish I could avoid having to…

If only I could escape the…

I want to bypass doing that…

I need to dodge that…

Hopefully I won’t have to deal with…

And finally, as an extension of feelings from the three mental illness described above, if you see a photo that makes you feel happy, instead of saying,

I’m dead. I’m dying. I’m crying. I can’t. I literally cannot. I’m not okay.

Here are a few alternatives:

I love this so much…

I am so happy for you…

I can’t help but smile after looking at this…

This makes me happy because…

I wish you all of the best…

I love this because…

My heart is bursting at the seams…

Next time you speak, think first. Let your thoughts and expressions be unique.

Just be you. 

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